RAMROD XL FEATURES
OSNXL OPERATING SYSTEM
Same as 800XL. (0-15)
On power up the cassette baud rate is set to $5CC (751=5, 750=204).
On ALL cassette handler calls the baud rate used is what is in these
By changing locations 750 & 751 (dec.) you can set the cassette baud rate to
any desired rate wanted (see note).
EXAMPLE: POKE 751,2 from basic sets the baud rate to 1250.
POKE 751 ,4:POKE750,0 sets the rate to that used in OSN V4.
NOTE: We recommend only changing location 751. This will be easier to
remember. A 2 in this location will give you a baud rate of about 1250. Even
though the OS will support baud rates far above this, your cassette will
not. The maximum we could get out of a standard cassette was 1525, and this
will very from one unit to the next. SYSTEM RESET will reset the baud rate
The keyboard response has been doubled in speed, allowing faster cursor
control and typeing.
OSNXL meets all operating system entry requirements, and as many OS
subroutines as possible were kept with the same entry points as the Atari
400/800. All handler entry points are the same as the Atari 400/800 'B' OS.
This allows corapatability with almost all existing software for the 400/800.
FLOATING POINT ROUTINES
The RAMROD XL has included the FASTCHIP XL floating point routines in
rom. This should give you about 4 times the speed of the original.
A resident monitor with all the debugging tools needed for any
application. See OMNIMONXL manual for further information.
OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS
The RAMROD XL allows three complete operating systems on the board at
the same time. A three position toggle switch is provided to bank within
this 48K rom memory in 16K banks. It can use 27128 16K eproms, or the Atari
OS rom. In addition, a 16 pin pad (wired with +-5V, TTL compatible) is
provided for those special applications you may have.
OMNIVEIWXL, an 80 column operating system is available for use in the RAMROD
XL. (Requires video monitor for best performance)
Newell Industries. ftiTii iijifefrry 78. Wylie TX 75098. 214/ 442-6612
P.O. BOX 253
WYLIE, TEXAS 75098
RAMROD-XL Installation Instructions
Tools Required : Crosspoint screwdriver, flat blade screwdriver, pliers, drill
1) Turn the computer upside down and remove the six crosspoint Screws holding the case together.
2) Turn the computer upright and lift the top half of the case from the left, pivoting on the right
edge, and lay it upside down to the right pf the bottom half as shown below. You will need to
pull off the spadelug connector C from B. but leave the keyboard cable connected for now.
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3) Now we wish to gain access to the area underneath the metal shield. If your computer has a
■ingle screw (A) and tabs around the edge (1-9) holding the shield down, go to 3A. If there are
screws (with nuts) holding the shield down, go to 3B.
3A) Simply remove the screw and straighten the tabs so that you can lift the shield from the
front, pivoting about 30 degrees on the remaining two screws at the back. This will bend
the two metal tabs at the back slightly but this is of little consequence (see diagram
below). Co to step 4.
U U LJi i I I wr- i i i i i Iai r— 1 — I
3B) You will need to remove the motherboard from the bottom half ol the case. In this cue you
will probably want to disconnect the keyboard cable by gently pulling it out of the
connector oo the motherboard. Remove the remaining screws holding the motherboard to
the case (near I. near 8 and between the joystick ports) and remove it by lifting from the
left side and prying the cue around the joystick ports on the right. It is a tight fit but it
should pop out. Once the motherboard is free, you can remove the nuts and screws holding
the shield to the motherboard. It is recommended that you leave the two at the back on
either side of the expansion port. In this way you can lift the shield from the front to
shout a 30 degree angle, bending the back tabs slightly (see the diagram above).
4) Now you will need to modify the shield slightly. Refer to the diagram at the top of the next page
while doing these modifications. First., use broad pliers (not needle noee) to bend the flap at
the front of the cartridge slot up flat against the underside of the shield. This flap will
otherwise interfere with the RAMROD- XL. Next, bend out the right side toward the back to
create a 1/4 inch gap. You can do this easily with your fingers.
N Br nci Shield-^"
5) Now you are ready to iotUll Lbe RAMROD-XL. Refer to the diagram above. First locate the XL-OS
chip, a 28 pin chip about 2 inches to the right of the cartridge slot. Remove it by inserting the
flat screwdriver between the chip and Lbe socket and gently prying and rotating the
6) Insert the XL-OS chip you just removed into the RAMROD-XL board in the indicated socket.
Male carafe 1 Mia el the •rieataliea el the chip. eUaerviee yee saay here it eel
7) If you purchased OMNIVIEW also, plug it into the indicated socket if it is not already there.
8} Plug the RAMROD-XL into the empty OS socket as indicated in the diagram above. Route the
cable through the gap in the corner of Lbe shield.
9) If you wish, you can do a preliminary Lest by applying power to the motherboard. With the
RAMROD-XL switch in the center position, the screen should come up with the READY prompt
of BASIC. If this does not work, check to see that the RAMROD-XL board is sealed well in the
socket on the OS board.
10) Reinstall the shield by securing it to the motherboard with the metal tabs and/or screws.
1 1) If you had to remove the motherboard from the bottom of the case, pop it back into place and
secure it with the screws. Likewise, carefully insert the keyboard cable back into the
connector on the motherboard by using both hands to gently push it in.
12) You will probably want to mount the switch in the back righthand corner of the case just to the
right of the peripheral connector. Drill an appropriate site bole and mount the switch.
1 3) Complete the installation by resecuring the top of the case with the six screws.
Testing the RAMROD-XL
1) Power up the computer with the RAMROD-XL switch in Lbe center position. If you do not get a
READY prompt then go back and check Lbe installation. Otherwise, hold down SELECT and press
RESET. This should Lake you into OMNIMONXL indicating lbe OSNXL/OMN1MONXL is active.
2) Flip the toggle twitch to another position and press RESET. If you get a READY prompt, type
'B. (RETURN)'. This should lake you into the diagnostic routines of OSXL. Otherwise, this
position should yield a blank screen (If that socket is blank) or lbe memo pad (if that socket
3) Once you have determined which switch position corresponds to which OS. you might want to
label these positions next to the switch.
For the operation of OMNIMONXL and 0MNIV1EV7XL. refer to their user's manuals. It should be
noted that all three sockets of RAMROD-XL are identical, so that any OS could go in any socket.
Also, there are pads for a 16 pin IC for you hackers to do with what you want. If you have any
questions or encounter problems during the installation, call Newell Industries at 214 442-6612
(no collect calls accepted) and we will be glad to assist you.
RAMROD XL- IN T 30XE
Remove the tour screws tram the bottom of the computer. Tarn the
comouter upright and lift the top caver off. Lift the keyboard up slowlv and
unplug from the motherboard. Remove the RF shield top half. This mav have
tabs or screws. Remove the screws securing the motherboard to the bottom
case and lift the motherboard out of the case. Locate the 28 pin operating
system chip (there is only one 28 pin chip) close to the center of the
motherboard. Unsolder and remove this chip using caution not to damage
it. (This should be done by someone that has soldering experience) Install
the RAMROD XL board into the now empty 28 pin pad on the motherboard and
solder. You may want to trim the excess socket pins off of the bottom of the
RAMROD XL board. DO NOT trim the header leads. The RAMROD XL board should be
installed so that the reverse 'L' is facing the rear of the computer. If
desired, install the XE OS chip in one of the sockets of the RAMROD XL
board. The notch in the chip should face the left side of the computer. The
RAMROD XL board should fit as far into the motherboard as possible to allow
clearance for the RF shield. If tne 40 Din IC beside the OS is in a socket,
then vou must remove this socket and solder this IC di recti v to the
motherboard for the Ramrod XL to have clearance to mount directiv to the
motherboard. You may use a socket to install The Ramrod XL, but the
clearance between the top of the Ramrod XL and the RF sheild will be
critical and we do not recomend this method.
Before reinstalling the motherboard, using a suitable tool, cut or break
off the plastic post that would protrude through the motherboard and hit the
RAMROD XL. Although this looks to be a support for the keyboard. you will
notice that it does not support anything. Determine where to mount the
switch and drill a suitable hale for it. Make sure that the cable will reach
the location you have choosen once the RF sheild is in place. Assemble the
computer and test.
COMPATABILITY PATCHES FOR OSN
Although OSN meets all OS entry requirments , there is at least one
product that will not run with our OS. (There are a LOT more that won't run
on the new computers). Believe it or not it is the old disk version of the
Atari Word Processor. The reason for this is their use of two four byte
tables in the OS. They broke their own rule in this case. If you use this
product, we will give you the means to patch it so it will run with OSN and
probably the new computers. This involves installing the tables in their
code, and then changing their calls to the new loacations within the code.
There is a message in the code that says "Insufficient Ram, 48K Minimum
Required". We will replace the word 'Required' with the two 4 byte tables
that we need ( ATAINT, INTATA) , and then change the refferences to point to
First, using OMNIMON! we must locate this address in memory. Boot the
software and then enter Omnimon. Then search memory for "Required". Make a
note of the address of the first 'e'. This will be where we will put the
tables. Now that we know where to put them we can continue with our patch.
Using Omnimon, read the first 128 sectors of the disk into memory (R1
700 80). Search memory in char, mode for ' Required' (note the space). Once
found, go to hex mode and replace it with 9B 9B 40 00 20 60 20 40 00 60. The
9B ' s at the start are for the end of message. Now in hex mode, search for
refferences to FEF6 (S700 F6 FE) and FEFA (S700 FA FE). When located,
replace these addresses with the new table addresses that you have made. The
first table starts where you made note of the 'e'. For the second, just add
4 (in hex). Remember that all addresses refered to are in low, high
order . (ei . 192A would be installed as 2A 19).
Now all that is left to do is to write the sectors back to disk (W1 700
80). If all is done properly you will have a program that will run under all
operating systems to date.
Several popular programs by Synapse have also used illegal points in the
operating system. Of the ones we have encountered, most problems are
keyboard repeat key functions. Rumor has it that Synapse will correct this
problem if they recieve enough complaints. For the time being, try searching
the disk for the assemlbly code LDA $022B, CMP #$19. When found, change the
$19 to $05. This will slow down the keyboard so you can use the program with
OSN. Synfile by Synapse also does a LDA $FCD8, CMP #$A2 to determine if you
are using an XL machine. To run on OSN change the $A2 to $A5, or replace
their code with LDA $F11B, CMP #$78 to run on OSN and the standard OS.
If you encounter a problem with some software that does not work with
OSN, contact the software company that produced it. They have the source
code, and should be able to help you. As stated earlier, OSN meets ALL
operating systems rules. If you cannot get the software company to help you,
we will try to locate the problem. Although without the source code, we
cannot promise to find the problem.
Most illegal calls to the OS are done with a JSR or JMP instruction
( JSR=$20, JMP=$4C) , although any reference to $E500-$FFFF are illegal. If you
have a program that doesn't run, searching for illegal calls may locate the
problem. A popular autorun program uses a JSR to the OS (3 bytes) to INC
$09, RTS, also 3 bytes (makes a lot of sense doesn't it). If you have an XL
and wonder why your autorun program doesn't work, guess what? Yes, replace
the JSR with the proper code and it will work.
With the lowering of price of the 800 XL computers, it has been brought to cur
attention that some of the recently manufactured computers do not have sockets for
some or all of the IC's. The chips are soldered directly to the board. If this is the
case with your computer, you will have to remove the operating system (OS) chip to
install the Ramrod XL. This should be done using a heat sink on the IC. and a solder
sucker to remove the solder. After removal of the OS IC, you may either install a
socket in which to install the Ramrod XL, or solder the Ramrod XL directly to the
board. You will have better reliability soldering the Ramrod XL directly to the board,
but you loose the flexability of being able to remove it easily. In either case, this
should be accomplished by someone with good soldering experience.
You may want to back up your XL OS. Contact Newell Industries for a Backup cooy,
or use the information below to make your own backup.
THE XL OPERATING SYSTEM;
The XL OS chip contains IbK of read only memory (ROM), addressed in the rem from
0000-3FFF (he*). The OS is located as follows.
Diagnostic (see note)
Floating Point Routines
THE OSNXL OPERATING SYSTEM;
Omn 1 man
Omnimon (see note)
Fastchip Floating Point Routines
NOTE: This portion of the rom is only visible to the computer when bit 7 of address
*D301 is 0. When this occures, this portion of the OS rom is mapped over the ram at